Death By Probability is now in its (fanfare, please!) Second Edition. This blogpost tells how to recognize the edition you have, and what to do if you want the newer edition.
You might say, what? The publisher’s modest printing of 100,000 copies has already flown off the shelves into the homes of eager readers? No, not exactly. What happened is that I checked the Kindle e-book edition and discovered problems in the formatting, specifically extra line feeds that didn’t belong, and a couple of missing line feeds just before Scene titles.
How can it be that a novel that went through fifty revisions before publication still has mistakes? Well, as I continued to study the text I found 6 minor typos that I had previously missed. More significantly, I learned that in order to get attractive formatting of the printed paperback book, someone in the print department at the publisher inserted an additional 13 line feeds and took out two line feeds before Scene titles. These are not visible in the printed book because they occur at the ends of lines or the ends of pages, and since my proof copy is a PDF image of the printed book, they were not visible in my proof copy either. However, they appeared and were very annoying when the file was converted to .epub format for the e-books.
All glitches have now been corrected and if you care about such details, here is how to tell the difference:
Paperback. The first edition may be recognized by the designation v3.0 just under the Copyright on the back of the title page. Also, one of the six typos is on page 233, the next to the last line; it reads “choosing not fiddle.” The second edition says v3.0, r1.0 underneath the Copyright. And page 233 reads “choosing not to fiddle.”
Do you have the First Edition paperback? If so, you may want to keep it as a precious rarity, doubtless worth a prince’s ransom someday when the name Urno Barthel is on everyone’s lips as the progenitor of that hot new genre, science-mysteries. On the other hand, if you prefer to have the Second Edition, if you mail me your First Edition I will replace it with the Second Edition that corrects the six typos. Contact me for mailing instructions. I will even autograph the new book for you if you ask me to!
E-Book. Late in Scene I-22 (on page 57), Al says “…though communication causes time delays.” The first edition has a forced line feed between “time” and “delays” which is evident when looked at on an iPhone or iPad in various orientations. The second edition has a line feed only when the word “time” happens to come at the end of a line.
Do you have the First Edition e-book? Then by rights your e-book provider (Kindle, Nook or iBook) should update your edition to the Second Edition. Unfortunately, I discovered that Amazon’s Kindle, at least, does not provide that update automatically. I sent Amazon a note through their Contact Us link and they told me the following: “At this time, customers who have purchased a Kindle book cannot automatically download the revised content. Our technical team is aware of this issue, and are working towards automating this process. In the meantime, I’ve sent the updated version of your title, “Death By Probability,” to your Kindle library.” Thus Amazon fixed the problem when I requested it, while confessing that their update system sucks.
So if your Kindle or Nook or iBook is the First Edition and its awkward line feeds annoy you, whoever you bought it from should update it to the Second Edition, either automatically or upon request. If you cannot get satisfaction from the bookseller and are still unhappy with it, send me a copy of your proof of purchase and I will refund your $3.99 payment with an apology.
I found that e-books sometimes have an additional problem that no one seems to have the mojo to repair: they may break words in wildly inappropriate places. In my iPhone Kindle app, Scene I-14 (page 36) is marred by the name Trish being split up at the end of a line as “Tr-“ and then “ish.” How can anyone’s software be dense enough to divide a one-syllable word? As another example, in my Scene IV-13, page 253 has “driveway” broken up as “dri-“ followed by “veway” on the next line. Your e-book and your e-book reader may not have these faults, but in any case I do not know how to fix them.
I thank you for reading Death By Probability and want you to have the best possible reading experience. If I can help, let me know!
Image Credit: cover image © 2014 JupiterImages